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and leader mcconnell, senator feinstein, john mccain. our thanks and appreciation to mrs. bush and madame secretary for taking time to be here today and the contributions to this effort and your commitment to advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in burma. i would be remiss if i did not mention someone who's not with us today, congressman tom lantos. tom, and his wife and staff, worked so hard on behalf of burma for so many years. i wish he were here to share this moment in history with us because i think today is an amazing day. today is an incredible. who would have thought that when this bill was introduced in the house in 2008 when aung san suu kyi was under house arrest that in a few short years she would be standing or sitting with us on u.s. soil receiving this honor as a member of the burmese parliament. back then we thought about granting the metal and extension which may have been the first time a person would have received in the history of the metal the congressional gold medal while in detention. who would have imagined this change was possible. who would have thought
income taxes but we do not, and that parity has been so important. leader mitch mcconnell has guided our party and our conference through the past six years, he is a gifted leader and one that i have witnessed time and again has come up with strategies and got nothing is done in the right way. senator john kyl and i have worked on immigration and debt tax relief. senator lamar alexander and i have championed the america competes act so that we would continue the priority of scientific research and that we would never fail to invest in our future because of our economy. i am very pleased the distinguished ranking member of the judiciary committee and the finance committee, and judiciary before. has also on the floor. it has been a wonderful friend to me helping me in this first election when he was the rock star on fund raisers in texas and i thank senator orrin hatch for his strong leadership in this body. and i have had a wonderful good fortune to serve with two colleagues from my home state. first senator phil gramm who was a wonderful mentor and colleague. they broke for mold after se
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